In 2013, there were over 150 million blogs in existence. There are many reasons people blog, but whether it’s to make money or to create awareness about a topic, most successful bloggers have one common aspect: passion for their topic. What are you passionate about?
Your blog in this class will serve as your home base (also known as a hub). A home base is a place where your online presence originates. Your home base will feed content to your outposts. An outpost is a place where you grow your online presence and build a following. For this class, we will use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. As you read last week, these social media sites are where people read their news.
Unlike old media journalists, today’s new media journalists are not bound by the same rules. In fact, many rules can be violated by bloggers that journalists must follow. Aside from knowing the freedom inherent with blogs, there are a fewbasic—yet essential—characteristics you should familiarize yourself with to make a blog successful. We will cover many of these aspects throughout the course of the semester, but it is beneficial for you to have an overview now.
The best advice I can provide you is to be thorough but thrifty with your blog’s content. Why? In a generation that is accustomed to 140 characters or fewer, statistics show readers’ consumption of blogs is also relative.
• 10% of people who land on your post will not scroll down.
• Those reading your blog post will only read 60% of its content.
• Readers prefer visuals (photos and videos) rather than text.
• Most people will not stay on your page more than 7 minutes.
For those of you who are visual learners, here are a few professional blog posts to consider. The OCM Blog is written for college students. Please notice the blog focuses on a specific audience segment (college students), it offers links to its social media pages, and it generates revenue from its store. I like the BBC’s College of Journalism blog for its use of media in the blog, an easy-to-read list of posts, an their coverage issues relevant to future journalists and reporters. Finally, it is worth seeing an example of your peers’ blogs from other institutions. Analyze the differences among these three blogs.
Lab Assignments Week Three – Day One:
Today you will continue to create your website. Remember that in our media and app saturated culture, you must create a site that will appeal to readers so they do not bounce. (Yes, “bounce” is a common term within web design culture)
Research and educate yourself on the history of your topic. The sources you use should be authoritative for your topic. In other words, you may not need to go to the library’s database to find out about the history of the NFL. Other .com sites might suffice: Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NFL.com, etc. Once you know the history of your topic, write a new post that
- is approximately 250 – 300 words in length.
- has a catchy title.
- includes a minimum of 4 pictures that expand and illustrate something that you have mentioned in your writing. All pictures must be the same size and must be captioned to indicate what the viewer is seeing in the picture.
- contains a minimum of 4 hyperlinks–that open in a new window–that serves as a reference to information written in your article.
Don’t forget to add the post to your lab work menu and indicate at the end of the article what assignment the article satisfies.
Lab Assignments Week Three – Day Two:
Today I would like you to go through your current articles, titles, and images and ensure they illustrate the SEO guidelines we discussed in class.
Once you are finished with that, please review a product or service related to your website’s topic. You should include pictures. Please write a professional product or service review.